BMA calls for list of national NHS services

Doctors have called for a definition of national standards and thresholds of services available on the NHS to prevent PCTs from creating 'low priority' treatment lists locally.

Dr Nagpaul: call for fairness, national consistency, and the same rule for all
Dr Nagpaul: call for fairness, national consistency, and the same rule for all

Delegates at the BMA's Annual Representatives meeting in Cardiff voted in favour of a motion presented by Dr Chaand Nagpaul on behalf the Edgware and Hendon division in north London.

Dr Nagpaul spoke out against localised PCT lists which prevented patients from receiving necessary care because they are deemed ‘low priority'.

Dr Nagpaul said that in his area of north west London there are 85 ‘low priority’ treatments, the criteria for which are subjective.

Dr Nagpaul called for fairness, national consistency, and the same rule for all.

‘It’s simply wrong that patients are at the mercy of PCT policy,' Dr Nagpaul said.

‘No patient should have to suffer the injustice of being denied a treatment simply because of their postcode,’ he added.

Dr Ian McNab from the Oxfordshire division said that there were many examples of PCTs implementing rationing lists and they often had a significantly detrimental effect on patient care.

'We must ensure PCTs and their successors understand that consequences of these rationing decisions,’ Dr McNab said.

Speaking in favour of the motion, BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: ‘It is a national health service, not a national health system.’

Treatment decisions ‘should not be made at a local level,' Dr Meldrum said.

Click here for all the latest from the BMA annual meeting

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